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LAIKA’s ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ Opens Today in China

Infotainment China Media, the country’s first private international film sales agency, launches LAIKA’s stop-motion- and CG-animated feature across the Middle Kingdom on more than 7,500 screens.

PORTLAND, OR & BEIJING, China -- LAIKA’s acclaimed animated film Kubo and the Two Strings will be released in China today (January 13th in China) by Infotainment China Media, a leading movie acquisition company. This is the first time a LAIKA film will be presented to the massive Chinese audience and marks a remarkable achievement in the evolution of the 10-year-old Portland-Oregon based animation studio.

LAIKA’s fourth film, Kubo and the Two Strings, marks the directorial debut of the company’s CEO & President and award-winning animator Travis Knight. It has been named 2016’s Best Animated Film by the National Board of Review and AARP Movies for Grown-Ups Award for Best Movie for Grown-Ups Who Refuse to Grow Up and was nominated for a Golden Globe and BAFTA Award. It received 10 Annie Award nominations (including Best Animated Feature) and has been picked as the top animated movie of the year by (17 Wins to date) including: the Atlanta Film Critics Society, Austin Film Critics Association, Boston Online Film Critics Association, Central Ohio Film Critics Association, Chicago Film Critics Association, Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle, Florida Film Critics Circle, Houston Film Critics Society, Indiana Film Journalists Association, Iowa Film Critics Association, Las Vegas Film Critics Society, New York Film Critics Online, Online Film Critics Society, Phoenix Critics Circle, San Diego Film Critics Society, Utah Film Critics Association, and Washington DC Area Film Critics Association.

“It’s been a long-held aspiration to bring LAIKA films to China,” says Travis Knight. “Kubo and the Two Strings is our studio’s most ambitious and personal film, a wholehearted labor of love combining a grand, sweeping story with poignant intimacy. Brought to life using LAIKA’s groundbreaking production process, blending world-class artistry and craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology, Kubo is a cinematic experience unlike any other. I am enormously proud of this film. We’re very honored and excited to partner with Infotainment to introduce ourselves to the Chinese audience.”

“We always want to bring something truly special to our audience,” says Ms. Lin, who founded Infotainment China Media in 2005. “The artistry, technical achievement, superb storytelling, unforgettable characters and the expansive scope of Kubo and the Two Strings represent the zenith of modern animated filmmaking. We are so pleased to present it to Chinese audiences. I’m confident that it will find an enthusiastic reception.”

Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Akihiro (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and Kameyo (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen -- a magical musical instrument -- Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara) to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny.

Fueled by the vision of President & CEO Travis Knight, feature film animation studio LAIKA celebrated its 10th anniversary in December 2015. Located just outside Portland, Oregon, LAIKA was awarded a Scientific and Technology Oscar plaque in recognition of its innovation in 3D printing in 2016. Its three films, Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), and The Boxtrolls (2014) were all nominated for Oscars and PGA Awards as Outstanding Animated Film. Coraline earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice nominations, and was named one of the year’s 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI). ParaNorman garnered BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and GLAAD Media Award nomination and won two Annie Awards (the animation community’s Oscars equivalent) and was cited as the year’s best animated film by 14 critics groups. The Boxtrolls also earned Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe Award nominations and 13 Annie Award nominations, more than any other film that year. Kubo and the Two Strings, which marked the directorial debut of Travis Knight, was released in the U.S. by Focus Features on August 19, 2016 and internationally by Universal Pictures. It was named Best Animated Film of the year by the National Board of Review, has been nominated for a Golden Globe as “Best Animated Feature” and has garnered 10 Annie Award nominations. It has been named Best Animated Film by numerous critics’ groups.

LAIKA’s “From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience” returns for an encore engagement at Universal Studios Hollywood from December 21, 2016 through January 16, 2017 after a successful summer debut. The exhibit showcases the evolution of LAIKA’s unique blend of handcrafted stop-motion animation and visual effects magic that will once again come to life in four imaginatively themed rooms. The extensive display of original sets, puppets and props will immerse guests in the films’ singular, fantastical worlds.

Source: Infotainment China Media

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.